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Press review for Sunday, May 22, 2022

BERN (awp/ats) – Climate change and its consequences grab the headlines in the papers on Sunday. There is also talk of reforming the F-35A purchase and the war in Ukraine. Here is the main unconfirmed information for Keystone-ATS:

SonntagsZeitung: More than CHF400 million is lost annually in Switzerland due to the heat wave and the resulting drop in productivity in businesses, reports SonntagsZeitung, echoing a study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), the Federal Office of Zurich. Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss) and other institutions. Productivity loss due to heat is twice as high as that caused by seasonal influenza. It could increase by 17% by 2050 with the most favorable climate scenario and by 58% with the least favorable climate scenario. The head of SRF Meteo stated in the newspaper that it is “very high” the fact that Switzerland is experiencing a much warmer summer than usual this year. He adds that new temperature records are “very likely”. “The temperature can reach 40 degrees,” he warns.

NZZ am Sonntag / Le Matin Dimanche: The licensing procedure for installing wind turbines in Switzerland takes so long that sometimes used technologies, such as turbines, are outdated and are no longer on the market at the time of authorization, says NZZ am Sonntag. A specific type of installation is usually offered by the manufacturer for a ten-year period, it explains in the Federal Energy Office Gazette. Between the start of the project and the first blow of the ax, up to twenty years pass, which is more than the life cycle of windmills. The office recommends faster procedures. Consultations on this matter began to end on Monday. The Swiss Confederation of Arts and Crafts calls for the suspension of the right of opposition to wind farms and large hydroelectric installations.

In Le Matin Dimanche, State Councilor Lisa Matson (Greens/GE) proposes a round table to reach an agreement on the development of solar PV outside construction areas, bringing together the various players in the sector, ie electricians, cantons and environmental organizations. Genevan explains that their task will be to identify the most promising projects in terms of electricity production and which affect the least biodiversity, but also to agree on the necessary improvements to the legal framework. Today, opponents and supporters talk to each other through the media and the legal framework is a deterrent,” she notes. However, by 2035, at least 25 TWh of electricity will have to be produced by solar energy, he recalls that the Greens have put in a questioning on this vein.

SonntagsBlick: With solar energy, Switzerland can produce twice as much electricity as it needs thanks to positive energy buildings, according to a study by the Swiss Agency for Solar Energy, cited by SonntagsBlick. If half of the buildings in Switzerland were renovated or built according to this concept, these constructions would save 127 TWh. For comparison, Switzerland consumed 60 TWh of electricity in 2021. If 80% of the buildings were positive energy, the electricity production would rise to 435 TWh. Switzerland’s total energy needs, including gas and oil, are 220 TWh per year. There are currently only 230 positive energy buildings in Switzerland. According to the Swiss Agency for Solar Energy, if the union invests 30.5 billion Swiss francs over the next 15 years, it will result in revenues of 35 billion Swiss francs. To this must be added the savings of 45 billion Swiss francs thanks to the reduction of energy losses.

SonntagsZeitung: The bill for 36 F-35A combat aircraft that Switzerland wants to buy could increase by half a billion Swiss francs if the signing of the sales contract is delayed, SonntagsZeitung calculates after consulting the latest US Department of Defense budget. The Pentagon plans 4.6 billion Swiss francs to buy 48 of these devices this year. In 2023, the cost of purchasing 33 F-35s was estimated at 3.9 billion, which represents a 25% increase in the unit price. The newspaper recalls that Switzerland passes through the American country on its deal, with the same terms of purchase as the Pentagon. The offer to buy for Switzerland is valid until next March. The Federal Council decided not to wait for the vote on the anti-F-35 initiative for the left constituencies to sign it.

SonntagsZeitung: Seven out of ten hotels expect a drop in demand during the summer season in Switzerland, due to the war in Ukraine, writes the newspaper SonntagsZeitung, echoing a survey conducted by the umbrella organization for the branch, Hotelleriesuisse May 5-10, with its members. Half of those surveyed expect a drop in European customers. Hotelleriesuisse refers to the exchange rates, the deterioration of the general economic situation, the decline of Russian and Ukrainian customers due to the war and economic sanctions. The organization adds that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will also prevent a number of Americans and Asians from traveling to Europe. After all, Swiss hotels expect a higher bed occupancy rate this year than in 2020 and 2021, two years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Le Matin Dimanche: Despite the support of elected officials from all parties, except the UDC, the popular initiative for individual taxation launched by the PLR ​​Women is within three months of the deadline, says Le Matin Sunday. While the deadline was set for September 9, only 80,000 of the 100,000 necessary signatures were collected. However, the summer months are always tough for autograph collecting, the newspaper reports. “What has stopped us is, of course, a pandemic [Covid-19, ndlr], which limited meetings for a long time”, explained in Le Matin Dimanche State Counsellor Joanna Gabbani (PLR / FR), Vice-President of the PLR. However, she remains optimistic: “Every day, the number of signatures is increasing. The reception is very positive […] We are now on our way to one last race.” However, you hear criticism in the PLR, and some criticize the PLR ​​Women for the lack of regulation.

NZZ am Sonntag / SonntagsBlick: Unlike the European Union, there is no drug against monkeypox authorized in Switzerland, NZZ am Sonntag reports. Swissmedic has not received any license applications in recent years. The first case of monkeypox was announced on Saturday in Switzerland in the canton of Bern. SonntagsBlick writes that the injured man is out and about in middle age. He has mild symptoms and is in isolation at home. The disease, which is usually endemic in 11 African countries, has spread to several Western countries in recent days, including France, Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Portugal, Spain or even Sweden. Its symptoms, to a lesser degree, are similar to those observed in the past in people who came down with smallpox: fever, headache, muscle and back aches, during the first five days. Then rashes, lesions, pustules and finally scabs appear.

Note: This information has not been confirmed by ATS.

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